WWE always brings a great show to San Jose and since it’s Bayley’s hometown you just know that she will be involved in something big. This time she battled her bestie Sasha Banks in a contest which could go either way.

John Cena is around and that’s always fun as he looks toward the Elimination Chamber with high hopes like he’s going into WrestleMania for a fight against Brock Lesnar.

The 6th spot needed to be filled for the Elimination Chamber as well which consisted of a fatal four-way match where Finn Balor had a lot of momentum behind him.

With all of the other outstanding characters on the Raw roster, it was an action-packed show from start to finish. So let’s get right to it.

Opening Segment

John Cena kicked off Raw this week because, why not? Cena walked right up to Jonathan Coachman as soon as he came out and gave him a nice hug which was pretty cool to see.

Cena said he has to win the Elimination Chamber match because if he doesn’t win he’s not sure if he has a Road To WrestleMania and people cheered at that because they’re brutal. He kept talking about how he had to survive an unwinnable match to face an unbeatable champion at Mania. “Whether you’re on my side or not you know I love making impossible absolutely possible,” he said. Then he said he’ll win the Chamber match and make history against Lesnar at Mania.

Then John Cena said, “WrestleMania can bring a legend back from the dead” which is an incredibly interesting choice of words.

Enter The Miz and Miztourage to a rousing ovation.

The A-Lister said it’s not 2013, it’s 2018 “The Year Of The Miz.” The Miz said Cena’s been spending too much time in Hollywood where he can’t tell fact from fiction and then he said that Cena was the founding member of Suplex City.

The Miz boasted about beating Roman Reigns and the crowd popped big. Cena proposed The Miz vs Cena and the loser enters the Elimination Chamber 1st. The crowd seemed to love that idea.

As The Miz asked him why he would take that chance, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel assaulted Cena and gave him a good beat down. The Miz said he’s smarter than him, and told the referee to get out there after taking off his entrance attire.

Kurt Angle entered and said this isn’t how we’re going to start out Raw. He said he likes the match and the stipulation and called down a referee. Then he ejected Dallas and Axel from ringside. So he said this isn’t how we’re starting out Raw and then he started the match anyway. Nice.

John Cena vs The Miz

The Miz immediately pinned Cena and got a two count as The Miz told the timekeeper that it was a pinfall. He tried to pin Cena again, but Big Match John kicked out once again.

Cena fought back and soon had The Miz on the ropes. But the A-Lister would slap on a sleeper hold to wear Cena down and they kept that hold on for a little bit.

The Miz separated the hold and tried for a Skull Crushing Finale but Cena countered, however, he soon found himself in a figure-four leglock which was taught to The Miz by Ric Flair himself. Then Cena reversed into an STFU until The Miz got to the bottom rope.

The Miz rolled outside and snapped Cena’s neck using the top rope and climbed to the top turnbuckle. The A-Lister leapt off the top turnbuckle but Cena caught him and tried for an AA but The Miz reversed out of it again and hit a DDT for a near fall.

Then Cena hit an AA out of nowhere but The Miz kicked out which made him look incredibly strong. They wrestled around for a moment longer until Cena caught The Miz in another STFU until he made his way to the bottom rope.

Then The Miz caught Cena with a Skull Crushing Finale and he kicked out. So both guys kicked out of each other’s finishers which brought some “this is wrestling” chants from the crowd. Let’s just break this down for all the smarks out there… John Cena vs The Miz got “this is wrestling” chants, yup. It deserved it too.

The two started battling on the top turnbuckle and then Cena hit a top rope AA after avoiding a top rope Skull Crushing Finale. 1-2-3 and this one was over.

Winner: John Cena via pinfall

This was a pretty great match from these two and the end result meant The Miz is entering the Elimination Chamber first.

Matt Hardy cut a promo about how he was going to win the fatal fourway and turn it into the Deletion Chamber. Then he said “delete” over and over again.

Gallows and Anderson cut a backstage promo on The Revival with a cartoon “Nerd-O-Meter” which blew up when Gallows said “nerds.” Yeah, they’re really enjoying these graphics too much

The Club vs The Revival

The Revival jumped The Club on their way to the ring. Gallows got chop blocked and sold his knee as Dawson and Wilder got into the ring.

When the referee started the match, Gallows seemed to forget all about his hurt leg and just started hammering away at The Revival.

The two teams battled on in what Michael Cole referred to as their “rubber match” which could mean they’re looking to blow this feud off sometime soon. In the end, just as Karl Anderson looked like he was going to pull off the win, Dawson hit a blind tag and The Revival hit a Shatter Machine for the win.

Winners: The Revival via pinfall

Seriously though, I love Gallows and Anderson as much as anybody but The Revival needed this win in a big way.

Kurt Angle was shown walking backstage and apparently, he has a major announcement to make about his baby boy Jason Jordan.

Kurt Angle’s Big Announcements

Angle said that Ronda Rousey will be signing her Raw contract at the Elimination Chamber and then he said Jason Jordan will be out of action until after Mania. The crowd cheered.

Kurt said he’s not going to speak to the crowd as a Superstar but as a father. Then he chastised the fans for cheering for a wrestler’s injury and how Jordan will miss Mania.

Seth Rollins came out next and started cutting a promo on Angle. He said he didn’t want to be a part of Raw right now, he wants to “be Monday Night Raw.” He said he wants to turn it back into Monday Night Rollins. He said he wants Brock Lesnar and the Universal Chamber at WrestleMania. There was a smattering of applause.

Kurt said he can’t do that and then Rollins proposed they change the fatal four-way into a fatal five-way and put Rollins in the match. This got a lot of “yes” chants.

Angle said it wouldn’t be fair to the other four wrestlers and then he corrected himself and said, “Superstars.” Then he left it up to the crowd and they obviously wanted to see Seth in the match so it was made official.

Bray Wyatt cut a promo about winning the fatal four-way. He called himself a shark and he’s starving. He said he’ll win the Elimination Chamber match for the second year in a row and go on to slay the beast. After all, he’s still got the whole world in his hands.

Bayley vs Sasha Banks

Bayley and Sasha took it to each other from the get-go and fought intensely throughout the opening moments of this match.

Banks locked in a submission hold but Bayley eventually got out of it and then Sasha hit a backstabber-looking move on Bayley’s shoulder. They fought on the turnbuckle as Banks knocked her down and hit the double knees. Bayley returned with a shot while Banks was running in for a second helping.

Bayley caught a Thesz Press and laid in some punches before driving Banks into the corner and laying in some shots. The Hugger hit a side suplex and Banks rolled to the apron where Bayley hit a sick stunner-looking move through the ropes on The Boss. Banks tried to fight back but Bayley laid her out with a knee to the face before climbing to the top rope.

Bayley missed an elbow drop and Banks caught her in the Bank Statement until The Hugger got to the bottom rope. Eventually, Bayley hit a Bayley to Belly off the second rope and won the match in definitive and very clean fashion. This was a big win for Bayley in her hometown.

Winner: Bayley via pinfall

After the match was over, Bayley approached Banks in the middle of the ring and they looked at each other intently before Nia Jax rushed the ring and steamrolled Bayley. But before Jax could jump in the ring, Bayley noticed her and tried to shove Banks out of the way. It didn’t help though because Jax laid them both out with Samoan Drops.

Nia Jax cut a promo about how Banks and Bayley have taken Asuka to her limit and she just destroyed both of them. Then Jax said she’s the only one who can break Asuka’s streak. Neat, it’s nice to have goals.

Seth Rollins was shown backstage when Roman Reigns walked up to him. Seth said he can’t let Reigns have all the run in the chamber and Roman said he’ll be the guy who eliminates him just like in The Royal Rumble.

Suddenly, The Bar was there because they were invited too. They said JJ and Dean Ambrose are in physical therapy together bonding about how bad of a partner Rollins is. Roman asked Cesaro what happened to his mouth “oh that’s right you ran into The Shield.”

“Nice skirt, fella!” Rollins said as The Bar walked off.

Titus Worldwide cut a backstage promo where Apollo Crews said he will win the fatal five-way match tonight.

Alexa Bliss and Mickie James were backstage where Bliss apologized for all the old lady comments she made about Mickie during their feud a few months ago. Bliss said she was impressed with her about how she’s able to juggle being a mother and a WWE Superstar.

Mickie just asked what she wants. “I’m the one who brought you back to WWE, but that’s fine,” Bliss said. They talked about how they need to stop Absolution which is now apparently just Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville.

Then Mickie agreed to team with her tonight but said she is “buttering the wrong biscuit” nice verbiage.

Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose vs Alexa Bliss and Mickie James

These two teams worked well with each other as Absolution did their best to make Paige proud who stood at ringside. She still hasn’t been cleared for an in-ring return yet and it might not happen at this point which is totally sad.

After a nice back and forth match, Mickie James hit a neckbreaker on Mandy Rose giving them both the chance to make tags. But Deville yanked Bliss down at the last minute so she couldn’t make a tag. Mandy Rose hit her finisher on Mickie James and took the win.

Winners: Absolution via pinfall

After the match was over, Rose and Deville beat Mickie down a litte bit until Bliss ran them off.

Ladies And Gentleman… Elias

Elias cut an excellent in-ring promo as always before singing a little song. Everyone said that WWE stands for “Walk With Elias” but they immediately started booing when he started singing. “If that’s how you’re gonna be I’m not gonna sing!” so the crowd cheered, “the thing is my vocal chords are warmed up and they’re sounding really good so I’m gonna sing,” he said before continuing a song.

He sang about smashing Cena with a guitar as the crowd started to cheer about that one. He also included everyone else in the match until he was interrupted by Jojo saying “ladies and gentlemen, Braun Strowman.”

Strowman was on the stage with his own spotlight. Braun picked up a huge stand-up bass guitar and started to sing a song to Elias about destroying him and he concluded it with “when this song’s over you’re gonna get these hands.” Strowman was showing a real comedic side to his character and it was epic.

While Strowman played the bass he broke the strings so he said since he broke it there’s only one thing he can do with it. Strowman hoisted it on his shoulder and walked to the ring and Elias called a truce.

Braun got in the ring and Elias jumped him but it didn’t work for long because as Elias grabbed his guitar, Braun stopped him and hammered him down with a strong right hand before hitting a running powerslam.

As Elias crawled up the ramp, Braun got out of the ring and eyeballed his huge stand-up bass. He walked up the ramp with his bass on his shoulder and followed Elias. Then Braun posted up next to Elias while the crowd cheered and then he destroyed the bass over Elias’s body. He was immediately surrounded by referees and medical personnel after the attack. Let’s hope Elias can make it to Elimination Chamber after that.

Finn Balor cut one of those awful cell phone promos about how he’ll win the (now) fatal five-way match to claim his spot at the Elimination Chamber.

Sheamus vs Roman Reigns

Roman hulked up early on and drove Sheamus out of the ring but Cesaro encouraged him to go back in only to be clotheslined over the top rope on the other side of the ring. Then Sheamus drapped Roman Reigns out of the ring but Roman drove The Celtic Warrior into the barricade over and over again.

Cesaro tried to step up but soon backed down when The Big Dog looked at him. But it was enough for Sheamus to hit a rolling senton on the outside leaving Roman selling and in pain while they cut to commercial. You ever notice they often seem to cut to commercial as the babyfaces are in trouble? Interesting…

Sheamus beat up Roman during the entire commercial and when they cut back from commercial he had Reigns in a submission hold in the middle of the ring as the crowd chanted “Rusev Day.”

“Respect the Hawk!” Sheamus yelled back at them before kicking Reigns down.

“You look stupid” the crowd chanted back at Sheamus while Graves noted that this chant originated the night after WrestleMania in San Jose just a few years ago.

The Big Dog started to rally but didn’t land a Superman Punch, instead, Sheamus countered with White Noise and it was rather nicely done. Sheamus then covered for the pin but only got a two count.

Sheamus prepared for a Brogue Kick but Reigns hit the Superman Punch for a two count because everybody kicks out of the Superman Punch. WWE needs to really surprise us and put the move over someday by letting Roman win with a Superman Punch.

Sheamus also kicked out after a sit-down powerbomb but Roman got to his feet first. Cesaro got on the apron and distracted Reigns, Sheamus went for a roll up but it was a two count, then Sheamus hit a knee for another two count.

Sheamus shoved Reigns to the floor and Roman launched Cesaro into the crowd and landed a Superman Punch. Reigns then sent Sheamus into the post but The Celtic Warrior hit a clothesline on the apron to counter the drive by.

Reigns rolled in and Sheamus jumped to the top turnbuckle and leaped off as Roman Reigns hit a very messy spear as Sheamus jumped down. For some reason, WWE kept playing replays of it and it looked bad every time.

Winner: Roman Reigns via pinfall

Roman must pose.

Bray Wyatt vs Matt Hardy vs Seth Rollins vs Apollo Crews vs Finn Balor

The action was quick and Apollo Crews ran a nice little rally for a minute until Finn kicked him out of the ring. Then Seth and Finn fought until Bray jumped in the battle with Balor for a bit.

Hardy and Finn battled but Rollins interrupted him. Jonathan Coachman flubbed a line a bit and Michael Cole made a remark how there are no teleprompters on Raw. Nice Sports Center jab.

Rollins and Bray fought on in the ring and traded near falls but Finn broke up a pin from Seth before being thrown out of the ring. Rollins went to the top rope but Apollo nailed him and climbed up too. Hardy and Balor came in and almost formed a tower of doom but Bray broke it up and got some heat for ruining the high spot. That was pretty clever.

Rollins didn’t let Hardy hit a Twist Of Fate although some people did chant “delete” at him. The Seth hit a double blockbuster on Bray and Apollo. He hit a dive on Balor and then hit another suicide dive on the other side to Hardy and Wyatt. He turned his attention to Crews and hit that awesome suplex into falcon arrow move he does for a two count.

Bray and Seth fought for a bit and Wyatt laid in a wicked clothesline for a two count. Balor hit a slingblade to Wyatt and then Balor climbed to the top rope. Finn jumped up and grabbed Balor while Bray laid on the mat. Seth flipped off the top rope and it Bray almost hit the Sister Abigail on Rollins, Hardy hit the Twist Of Fate on Bray, and Seth hit Finn with the Blackout for a two count.

Apollo press slammed Rollins but Seth got out. But Crews hit a slam and a standing moonsault for a two count while Titus O’Neil looked devastated at ringside that Crews didn’t pull down a win there. Apollo had another chance but Seth kicked out again.

Hardy grabbed Apollo when he climbed to the top rope and joined him but Bray pulled Hardy down and hit a Sister Abigail on the outside. Wyatt grabbed Apollo of the top rope and climbed up as Finn grabbed him and so did Rollins. They hit a tower of doom and both Finn and Seth covered Bray. 1-2-3

Winner: ???

Raw ended while both Finn Balor and Seth Rollins were left stating their case to the referee on why they won with no official announcement about what the hell just happened. It’s not like they can add another person to the Elimination Chamber match because there are only 4 pods unless they start the match as a triple threat match instead of just two people.

Either way, the Elimination Chamber is getting a nice build-up.






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Aaron Varble hasn’t just been writing for more than a decade in various formats including sketch comedy, stand up, television, radio, and other various projects; nor is he just another professional wrestling fan with a master's degree in journalism and Tourette’s syndrome. He's always looking to explore the why not with the why and the how come along with the how. Follow on Twitter @TheVarble